You may recall that Motor Man and I have dinner every week with two other couples that we met through racing. We’ve done this for well over ten years with very few interruptions.
We’ve shared the ups and downs of life. Celebrated good things that have happened, supported each other through the not-so-good. We’ve shared jokes, laughed and cried, eaten pizza, spaghetti, subs, and our so-called “Mark salads” and “Colonel’s Pizzas”.
We celebrate birthdays and all the holidays. We’ve become our own little Wednesday night family.
Our “friend family” is included in our “real family” events. This was taken at Motor Man’s parents’ 72nd wedding anniversary party summer. (Motor Man wasn’t really mad: that’s sometimes his camera face….)
But, last week, that evil, heartless monster that is cancer took a member of our friend family.
Phyllis was a career Army wife. She raised four children while her husband served our country.
She loved cats.
She loved racing. Turn three at our race track won’t be the same on Saturday nights without her.
And when it was cold, she drank hot tea. Or sometimes just hot water, the first person I’d ever met who did so.
She taught me to play Spider Solitaire. And I will always think of her every time I play.
Phyllis loved gardening and birdwatching, and those passions were never more apparent than in the gifts she gave… plants, planters, bird feeders, bird houses and subscriptions to Birds And Blooms magazine.
This was a simple basket that Phyllis planted geraniums and ivy in and gave it to me for my birthday three years ago. It thrived all summer.
Last year, this was my birthday gift: a terra cotta watering can with ivy, some type of lily and a succulent. This was also one of Phyllis’s creations.
We’ll miss her. But the gifts she gave, and the memories she left us with, will always keep her close in thought.